David Blake Lucarelli writes;
Hello. You don’t know me, but I’ll bet we have something in common. I’m a 42-year-old life long comics fan and convention addict who’s always wanted to make the jump to writer, self-publisher, and exhibitor. Well, tomorrow I’ll be doing just that at Wondercon and I’ll be giving you a series of daily updates to take you along on that adventure with me.
A little quick background about myself and my comic: my day job is working as a sound engineer at a major film studio, and for the past decade I’ve also been the guitarist, songwriter and lyricist for the Hollywood based hard rock band Dame Fortune. But it’s always been a dream of mine to write comics.
A couple of years ago I read about a real life incident in 1954 Glasgow Scotland where hundreds of school children descended upon a cemetery, some armed with steak knives and pitch forks, looking for a vampire with iron teeth they believed had killed a couple of local kids. At the time they blamed it on…comic books, of course!
Today it’s looked upon as an incident of mass hysteria, but in our story some of those children found what they were looking for, and formed The Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade. Flash-forward to today, Gavin and Doug, two juvenile delinquents are drinking in that same graveyard the night the vampires come back, and unwittingly end up becoming the newest members of the Brigade. It’s kind of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. A coming of age Gothic adventure. Here’s the cover and the first 3 pages:
Now, as a fan, I’ve been guilty of giving the thousand yards stare to avoid getting sucked into the “pity buy,” that all con veterans know all too well. But I’ve also discovered some amazing talent hiding in Artist’s Alley and the Small Press Area. I’m thinking of you Rick Geary, Stan Sakai, and NBM Publishing. So, I’m hopeful that tomorrow, I may end up being that somebody for someone else, and not have to experience too much of the former!
I’ve done my research. I took the online course Publishing and Marketing Your Graphic Novel with Martin Shapiro at the writersstore.com. I read How to Make Webcomics cover to cover, which while it may not seem that relevant actually contains lots of practical advice about making your booth and appearing at conventions. I went to last Sunday’s Comic Book Sunday (an informal monthly gathering in Los Angeles of comics fans, and creators) and talked to We Comic’s Jake Dickerman who offered me perhaps the most practical advice at all, “Don’t forget to eat.”
So, here is my plan of attack: I’ve got two large banner stands with the covers of the first two issues. Two 11X17 promotional cardboard signs. Free bookmarks. Free fangs for your e-mail. A four and a half minute promo reel I’ll be playing in perpetuity, that you can watch here:
An elaborate graveyard diorama featuring my two main characters and of course the premiere issue of my four issue miniseries. If all of the above seems a bit gimmicky, here’s my line of thinking: I’m competing with TV and movies that have millions of dollars to spend to impress with the latest cutting edge effects, and iconic characters who have captivated the public mind, some for half a century or more. I’ll do whatever I can to grab the attention of convention attendees, who by the time they get to my booth will already be suffering from sensory overload. Will I sell a lot of comics? A few? Any? Honestly, I have no idea, but I promise I’ll be truthful about how it all goes down.
It’s a pretty mesmerizing scene walking the aisles of the dealer’s room, watching Santa’s elves silently setting up for the big extravaganza that’s about to be unleashed. For the first time, come what may, I’m going to be going to be a part of it.
Oh yeah, one last thing. Earlier this week, this happened: When I gave Stan a copy of my comic he said, “Alright! A free comic book!” with all of the characteristic enthusiasm he’s known and loved for. Tomorrow, I hope to make him proud.